The Assyrian Policy Institute welcomes President Joe Biden’s formal recognition of the Armenian Genocide. This announcement marks the first time a sitting U.S. President has formally declared that the atrocities perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian peoples more than a century ago constituted genocide. Coupled with formal recognition by the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate in 2019—today’s announcement by President Biden formalizes an important step for U.S. policy with regard to the Armenian Genocide and challenges Turkey’s longstanding campaign of denial and obstruction.
“This a historic moment in history—a sitting U.S. President has formally and unequivocally recognized the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians, hundreds of thousands of Greeks, and upwards of two-thirds of the Assyrian population at the time,” said Ramond Takhsh, API Board Member. “This would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of Armenian organizations and individuals who pushed for recognition and understanding through advocacy, awareness campaigns, and educational initiatives. For more than a century, the Republic of Turkey has refused to confront its past and acknowledge the Genocide, and subsequently orchestrated a defiant campaign of misinformation and denial. Turkey has yet to be held accountable for these crimes, and has acted with emboldened impunity—coercing public and private institutions, attacking the press and free speech, and renewing threats against the Armenian people as seen most recently through its actions during the Artsakh War. Today’s formal recognition sends a strong message to Turkish authorities—that their efforts have failed and that our peoples will never rest until justice is achieved for our ancestors who were forced to pay the ultimate sacrifice over 100 years ago,” he said.
While we are encouraged by President Biden’s announcement, we are reminded that extensive work is still required to ensure that the affected communities are afforded their rights to truth, justice, and reparations. Shining a sustained light on this issue will encourage the U.S. to live up to its commitment to ensure that such atrocities are not repeated.
We extend our utmost gratitude to our colleagues at the Armenian National Committee of America, the Armenian Assembly of America, and other institutions for their heartfelt leadership on this issue. The impact of this announcement will be significant as we continue to pursue justice for the horrific events of 1915.
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